Identifying Common Household Poisons » Daily Mom

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Statistics show that over 300 children in the United States are treated everyday in an emergency department from being poisoned. The CDC reports that at least two children die daily as a result of exposure to poisons. These numbers are dramatic, so it is necessary to check your home and property for potential hazards.

There are many items in every room of your home that can be poisonous, especially to children. Many of us use these common household items multiple times a day and do not think twice about their hazardous effects; however, it is important to recognize that these products are toxic and can result in serious injury or death.

A child can become ill in several different ways after being exposed to household poisons. If a child gets a product on their skin or eyes, burning, redness, or itching could occur. Poisons with a strong smell can produce a headache, cause drowsiness, nausea, or loss of consciousness. Poisons that are consumed can cause serious damage to the esophagus and internal organs.

Types of Common Household Poisons


Cooking oils
Non-stick sprays
Dishwasher detergents
Drain cleaners
Dry cleaning liquids
Floor cleaners
Furniture polish and creams
Glass cleaners
Metal cleaners
Oven cleaners
Scouring powders

Laundry Room

Laundry detergents (liquid and powdered)
Spot removers
Fabric softener
Spray starch

Bedroom and Bathroom

Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
All drugs and medicines
Analgesics (pain killer)
Anticonvulsants (antiseizure drug)
Antihistamines (allergy medicine)
Antiseptics (mouthwash)
Barbiturates (sedatives)
Bath salts
Cough syrups and lozenges
Wart removers
Eye drops
Lotions and creams
Nicotine patches
Pain remedies
Bath oils
Rubbing alcohol
Sleep aids
Toilet bowl cleaner
Zinc oxide
Jewelry cleaner

Cosmetics and Toiletries

Aftershave lotions
Cologne and perfumes
Hair products (hair spray, dyes, gels, mousse, etc.)
Hair removers
Nail polish
Polish remover


Rat poison
Plants (There are thousands of poisonous plants. Contact Poison Control if you suspect a wild flower, seed, bulb, berry, mushroom, or wood has been ingested.)

Garage and Basement

Automotive products (waxes, engine fluids, windshield washer fluid, motor oil)
Paint remover
Paint thinner
Petroleum products (kerosene, lighter fluid)
Rust remover
Solvents (Acetone)


Adhesive and glues
Air fresheners
Broken plaster
Camping or candle oils
Carbon monoxide (vehicle exhaust, heaters, grills)
Cigarettes and tobacco
Liquid incense
Liquor and alcoholic beverages
Carpet and upholstery cleaners
Gun cleaners
Chlorine and other pool chemicals

Protect Yourself and Your Children

  • Keep poisons in their original bottle or make sure other bottles are properly labeled. If you choose to transfer your products into a different container or spray bottle, make a label for the bottle so other members of your household know what is in the bottle. Never use food containers for storage.
  • Never mix household products together. For example, combining bleach and ammonia can create toxic fumes.
  • Wear protective clothing. Use gloves, protective eyewear, and clothing that covers your skin when using chemicals.
  • Notify Poison Control for any incidents of accidental poisoning. Stay calm and act fast. Call Poison Control immediately if your child has ingested a poison. If you are unsure if your child has ingested a poison, but you suspect it, it is better to report it to be on the safe side.

Program the Poison Control phone number in your cell phone: 1-800-222-1222.

  • Keep the above listed poisons out of reach of children. Store poisonous products up high where children can’t access them or in locked cabinets.
  • Disinfect and decontaminate. Wash your hands after handling cleaning products and toxic chemicals before holding or touching your children.
  • Educate children. Teach children that even though some products may smell good or be a pretty color, or look like candy, doesn’t mean they are safe.

Sources: Poison Safety, Tips to Prevent Poisonings, How to Properly Dispose of Medication, Child Poisoning Facts and Statistics, Hidden Dangers in the Home, Common Poisonous Plants and Plant Parts, Poison Statistics, Gasoline and Toddlers: Summer Risk
Photo Credits: Sasha Staton, Pixabay

Tags: biohazard, bleach, cleaner, cleaning products, common household poisons, detergent, disinfectant, fertilizer, hazardous, home cleaning products, Label, labeling, medications, pesticides, poison, poison control, poisonous plants, prevention, Safety, toxic

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Sasha Staton

Sasha is a new mother to her baby boy and is loving motherhood! Sasha has dedicated her career to protecting the public and has served in almost every realm of public safety. Sasha is the Spokesperson for a Fire Department and is committed to teaching both children and adults about fire safety and prevention. Before diving into the fire service, she was a triple certified Law Enforcement Officer, Emergency Medical Technician, and Ocean Rescue Lifeguard. Sasha received her undergraduate degree in Family, Youth, and Community Science from the University of Florida and also holds a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice. In her free time, Sasha loves traveling with her family, doing DIY projects, and all water activities, especially kayaking with her two dogs on board.

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